Pests are no fun, but neither are those harmful, toxic chemicals. Use these all natural pest control methods instead. Not only are they eco-friendlier, they’re all better for you, your family, and your pets.
When it comes bug killing insecticides, natural solutions are over shadowed by the synthetic, man-made pesticides. You still have some pretty effective options that are natural though. There are a few items missing from this list, but these are the most popular because they work really well.
Baking Soda & Sugar
If you’re dealing with a bug that likes sugar, then use this little natural, home remedy. All you’ll need are two simple items you probably in the kitchen already (baking soda & sugar).
Just mix equal parts of sugar and baking soda to create a safe and natural bait. Place the bait in shallow containers. Disposable plates work well for this. You can also trim down some disposable cups, or empty water bottles.
Diatomaceous Earth, The Real Natural Bug Killer
Diatomaceous earth (a.k.a DE) is truly an all natural pest control solution; it is effective, non toxic, and mostly harmless (to you and your pets). In fact, you can even buy food grade DE that is safe for human consumption. Food grade DE is actually what I recommend you use.
This natural bug killer works well for any bug that crawls around. DE is actually has very sharp edges, but for us, food grade DE is so fine that it doesn’t really do anything to us. However, for the bugs that crawls through, their protective exoskeleton gets damaged and usually leads to death.
To use diatomaceous earth, dust a fine layer of it in areas where you are noticing high traffic of those pests. Lightly dusting a thin layer is the hard part and it’s where most people fail and end up with less than desirable results. Too much and the bugs will just go around it. Spread it thin enough and they’ll walk right over it (which is exactly what you want).
To trick to get a thin layer of this dust is to spend a little more on a decent bulb duster. Some people don’t like the idea of spending a little more than they have to. But for just around the $20 range, you can get yourself a decent duster that will get it right (every time).
Boric acid is a natural insecticide that many pros like to keep to themselves; because they’re so darn effective AND cheap to buy. It works in two ways:
- Damage the proactive exoskeleton of bugs that walk through it (just like DE)
- Kill them from the inside (once ingested)
Getting those pests to eat boric acid isn’t very hard if you’re dealing with something that can’t say no to sugar. Roaches and ants don’t stand a chance when you mix it with sugar or corn syrup.
Be sure to dust boric acid powder in areas where you’re seeing a lot of the pest you’re trying to get rid of. I’ve already covered in more detail about how to properly dust a powder insecticide right above this one, so go back and read it if you happened to have skipped it.
Many get confused and mistakenly think boric acid and borax are the same. That’s not entirely correct though. While they are similar, they are not the same thing. However, they both work the same way and are equally effective.
Some may argue that borax is slightly easier to find, but I don’t think so. You won’t have trouble finder either of them. Sometimes you’ll be able to find one and not the other, but my advice is to use which ever one you find. To use borax as a natural bug killer, just follow the instructions above for boric acid.
Neem oil is a naturally occurring oil that’s extracted from the seeds of the neem tree. There are many uses for this oil, but it’s popular as a natural pesticide for organic gardeners. It will kill some common garden pests and repel others.
This natural oil also has the added benefit of being an insect growth regulator. The stops larvae from being able to reach adult hood; thus reducing the number of destructive adults as well as disrupting their ability to reproduce and multiply.
To use neem oil, mix it with water and apply with a sprayer. A small and affordable pump sprayer will do just fine. The mixing ratio varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Follow the instructions on the label and you will be ok.
One could argue that traps are not a pesticide, and they aren’t very much natural at all. But you can’t deny the fact that they are indeed safe pest control and not toxic when compared to potentially dangerous chemicals. With that said, they should be considered if you’re trying to avoid synthetic pesticides.
Traps that will catch/kill pests using mechanical methods are completely harmless to the environment and won’t produce that foul/harmful fumes. You’ll want to keep it out of reach of the little ones and pets though. Traps that uses an adhesive will often not use any harmful chemicals, so they’re also worth considering.
Natural pest control doesn’t just involve just killing them; it also involves keeping them away. Repellents can be used in combination with a pesticide to help get rid of them faster. Or they can be used by themselves to reduce the number of pests in and around your home. Use these natural repellents to create a pest barrier and keep them out.
The potent odor given off by freshly crushed garlic cloves is enough to get the attention of unwanted bugs. Fortunately, the moment their attention is drawn, they make a quick retreat to get as far away from the source of that odor as possible.
Crush one/two cloves of garlic and place them around possible entry points in the house. Make sure to replace them once the smell starts to disappear.
You can also make a repelling spray with garlic by crushing a bunch of them and mixing them with alcohol in the spray bottle. Spray the mixture around entry points.
Certain essential oils are known to keep bugs away. Some of the more popular include:
Several drops in a small spray bottle makes for a great and natural repelling spray. You can also choose to mix a mixture of the different oils to make it more potent.
Another option for using essential oils to keep bugs away is to soak a cotton ball in a few drops of essential oils. Place the cotton ball in areas where bugs can potentially enter, or areas where you’d like them to keep away.
Plant Bug Repelling Plants
If you’d like a little more passive approach to keeping pests away, then planting some plants that are known to naturally keep bugs away if for you. Simply plant your chosen bug repelling plants around the entire house and yard, or just plant some of them around windows and doors (where they are most likely to enter from).
Popular and effective plants you can plant include:
Regardless of which natural pest control methods you choose to use, I really think you should always choose this one first. The first thing to do if you’re trying to get rid of pests, or keep them away is to stop them from being able to enter your house.
Your home will have small cracks and gaps in which they enter through. Take a good amount of time searching for these spots and seal them off. Small cracks and gaps can be closed off using caulk, or expanding foam (comes in a can). For doors and windows, you can add weather strips to help close any gaps that may exist.
Natural, Bug Killing Pest Control Products
Home remedies and DIY solutions are great and all, but sometimes, you just want to buy something that will do the job. I completely get that; that’s why I’ve included this quick list of some of my favorite natural sprays and other safer pest control products:
- Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth (any brand will do)
- Garden Safe Insecticidal Soap Spray
- Hygea Natural Exterminator Spray
- Boric acid (Any brand should do the trick, but I like Harris)
- Bionide Ready-to-use Neem Oil
- Garden Safe Neem Oil Extract, Concentrated
These are just a few of products from various manufacturers that I like to use. There are plenty more out there that I didn’t’ cover, but you can always try them out yourself. Just make sure to read the label to be sure it’s made from natural ingredients.
Common Pests & Natural Solutions for Them
Here are some quick solutions to specific pests that may be bugging you. Most of them are covered in a little more detail above.
- Sprinkle boric acid or borax powder.
- Mix boric acid/borax dry with sugar, or mix it with sugar and water to create a paste. You can also mix it with corn syrup, or something sweet.
For more details about using boric acid to get rid of ants, go here.
- Prevention is best.
- Wash all beddings in very hot water on a regular basis.
- Use food grade diatomaceous earth to get rid of them.
- Clean and vacuum often.
- Keep the house clean and free of dirty dishes and food crumbs.
- Dust boric acid in high traffic areas.
- Mix boric acid/borax with sugar and water to create a bait paste. Place the bait in areas where roaches frequent.
- Don’t use glue traps unless you’re trying to monitor high traffic areas or you’re trying to catch a few for identification.
Read more about how to use home remedies to get rid of roaches here.
Box Elder Bugs
- Close all openings.
- Use diatomaceous earth and sticky glue traps.
- Most won’t enter your home in large numbers unless you live in colder areas and the temperatures are dropping (late fall).
- You can simply remove them as you see them, or use a soapy water spray to kill them.
- Garlic. Make a spray, or just use peeled garlic cloves.
- Spray them with soap water.
- The vacuum cleaner.
More even more natural ways to remove them, visit the cricket page.
- Bathe and clean your pets regularly.
- Wash your pets with lemon infused water. Pour boil water over lemon. Let it cool and use it.
- Use cedar oil or cedar wood chips.
- Plant the Fleabane (a flower).
- Use diatomaceous earth (preferably food grade).
- Use fresh mint leaves, or mint essential oils.
- Fresh basil leaves, dried leaves, or essential oils.
- Use dried bay leaves, cloves, and eucalyptus leaves in disposable tea bags or wrapped in cheese cloth.
- Spray with mixture of cloves, mint and eucalyptus essential oils. Mix with water or alcohol.
- Use fly paper.
Dealing with fruit flies in particular? Find more details about getting rid of fruit flies here.
- Close gaps around window and doors.
- Close other small cracks and openings in the house.
- Plant mums.
- Vacuum any that you see.
There’s a lot more you can do to keep lady bugs away and get rid of them on this page.
- Close windows and doors located opposite of the breeze. Mosquitoes don’t like breeze.
- Remove standing water around the house.
- Pant catnip around the house.
- Plant lemongrass. Lemongrass has strong citronella oil to keep them away.
- Clean thoroughly with warm soapy water.
- Wipe down shelves, cabinets, and other kitchen surfaces with white vinegar.
- When wiping down with vinegar, try adding in a few drops of mint, or lemon essential oils.
- Place bay leaves (fresh or dried).
- Lightly dust boric acid.
- Sprinkle diatomaceous earth.
- Place cedar shavings or chips to keep them away.
- Use cinnamon powder or sticks to repel silverfish.
- Save those lemon and orange peels and place them around the house.
- Kill them by sprinkling table salt, or leaving some out on index cards (be careful not to spill them).
Slugs & Snails
- Use beer. Pour some beer into a semi shallow dish and leave it out.
- Scatter crushed egg shells around flowers, plants, etc. to keep them away.
- Mix 1 part vinegar with 2 part water. Add in a few drops of lemon essential oils and spray it around the house to keep them away.
- Keep windows, etc. closed.
- Close all openings like cracks and gaps.
- Dust diatomaceous earth, or boric acid around possible entry points into your home.
Pet owners, it’s important to consider the well-being of your pets as well. When you’re looking for a pest solution, you not only have to consider if it is harmful to you, but you also have to think about how it can affect your pets. If your pest problem is not grossly affecting you, but is instead affecting your pets, then try these safer solutions for pets.
While I’ve covered a lot of natural pest control methods here, there are still a lot more that I didn’t cover. That’s mostly because there are a lot of possible all-natural bug kill solutions ranging from sprays to plants. To really get the best results when trying to get rid of those pests, you’ll want to take what you’ve learned here and dig even deeper into the topic. I’ve tried to cover in more details for some of the methods and some of the most common pests on this very site, so be sure to check them out using the links on this page.